Village Theatre (Issaquah & Everett, WA)
Billy Biographical Information
Four 13-year-old Billys, all debuting in the role in this production, rotated in the role. They are Nikita Baryshnikov, Vincent Bennett, Bito (Jacob) Gottesman and Philipp Mergener.
Credit: Photo by Village Theatre
Director Steve Tomkins talked about the difficulty of finding not one, but four young actors proficient in tap, ballet, singing, stage acting and wire work. Tomkins said “There’s this brief, brief window that an actor can play Billy and they have to know all these skills. So it becomes a real challenge.”
Tomkins and Village Theatre choreographer Katy Tabb came up with a plan to recruit a small group of local tween boys and train them for nine months as they aged into the role. They started at the first Billy audition with about 60 boys and eventually honed that number down to the four they felt best fit the role. And then the training began.
The boys dove into practicing new skills. The camaraderie they developed proved to be a double-edged sword, driving them into heated competition with each other even as they became fast friends.
Before the production opened, the Village Theatre produced the following video to introduce its Billys:
Credit: Video by VillageTheatre1
For complete profiles of Village Theatre’s four Billys, click on their names (below their pictures):
Back to Village Theatre Main Page
To Main Billy Alphabetical Profile Index Article
To a List of All Billy Elliot The Musical Articles at theskykid.com